Wednesday, May 2, 2007

World War 2 and My Grandpa

This is me, my Grandpa Hal, and my brother Caleb. I'm showing him a short war movie I made with a friend; "Army of 2". It's about 2 soldiers who lose their platoon in woodsy, German territory and they have to find their way to their platoon. It's during the Second World War.

My Grandpa, Harold Carleton Steves
served in the U. S. Navy during World War 2. He was a radar man on an admiral/command ship. It was when radar had just been discovered by the U. S. He was one of the first few people to know about it and operate the radar equipment. For a time, the U. S. kept it a secret because it gave them such an advantage. Grandpa was ordered not to tell anyone about it.

Grandpa witnessed many of the humongous Naval battles that went on between Japan's and America's Navy. He also saw many of the huge Aircraft carriers* from World War 2.

One of the biggest invasions my Grandpa witnessed was the
"Battle for Peleliu."
Here is a summary of the battle.

For 2 full days, starting on Sept. 12, 1944, Cruisers, Battleships, and Aircraft Carriers bombed and shelled the Island to "soften-it-up" for the Marines to land. Umurbrogol Mt. on the Island was nearly leveled in the process.The island was similar to Iwo Jima in that the Japanese had hidden pillboxes, tunnels, and hidden artillery all over the Island. The Navy, in total, fired 519 rounds of 16-inch shells, 1,845 rounds of 14-inch shells, 1,793 500-pound bombs and 73,412 .50 caliber machine-gun bullets into the island before stopping.

My grandpa remembers seeing planes going one after another to bomb the island; and the continuous pounding of the ships hurling their shells across the shore. He saw (and heard) all of this from his admiral ship.

I read in D-Day that when those huge battleships and cruisers would be firing, they would create large waves from the rocking of the ship.

After the ships and planes had finished "softening up" the island for invasion, they sent the marines in amtraks(tanks/boats) to the beach. The first wave of amtraks were totally obliterated by Japanese fire. The amtraks afterward didn't do much better. But steadily, the waves of Marines started pushing up the shores and making progress. After nearly a whole month of fighting against entrenched and pill-boxed Japs, the Marines completely controlled the entire Island.

Grandpa recalled watching all of this from his admiral ship. After the first and second waves of marines had charged, the hospital ships were already overflowing. Grandpa's ship was elected as an overflow ship, along with many others. Grandpa remembers helping the wounded on deck and one of the wounded men from the second wave of amtraks was badly wounded. This man was missing a large chunk of flesh from his side and his leg was gone. He was losing blood so quickly and they were having to pump so much plasma into him, that his blood was no longer red but clear. Grandpa and everyone else thought he wasn't going to make it but some days later he was up on deck doing fine with crutches.

Remains from the battle still exist today.Japanese tank

American Amtrak

More Amtraks

Coming Soon!
More pictures of what Grandpa probably saw while in the Navy are coming next.

*Last year I wrote a speech on Aircraft carriers. Let me know if you want me to post it sometime.


  1. That's pretty cool about your Grandpa and what he went through. Great post and I would like to hear your speach you did about Aircraft carriers.

  2. Aaron, you better put a link to my blog on your blog soon. I'm waiting!!! Ha Ha

  3. Like the new header thing :)
    And I can't wait to see that speech you made.

  4. What Speech Kaila? Aaron? Huh?

  5. Hi mate!
    Many thanx for very exiting story.

    I am a HAM friend of your grampa Harold (Hal). If he is Ok please send my warmest regards to him.

    Long time nothing heard from him and worry.

    Best regards

    Andrey (Sparky)
    HAM call is RW3AH

  6. ha, I am going to experiment my thought, your post bring me some good ideas, it's truly amazing, thanks.

    - Thomas

  7. awesome blog, do you have twitter or facebook? i will bookmark this page thanks. jasmin holzbauer

  8. thanks for this nice post 111213